Welcome to Brown and Orange Report (B&O?), this article is more of a discussion amongst fans where they can talk about hot topics throughout the season and offseason, this week especially with the draft in full bloom.
This week, we're talking about the upcoming draft, our thoughts and opinions on whose who and what the Browns are going to do come Thursday.
I would like to thank Samantha Bunten first and foremost for her contribution to the content of the article and inspiration to write an article like this.
Remember, this is a group discussion, so please feel free to share your opinions below. Samantha and I will be discussing a few topics below but since this is a community blog we want to hear your opinions as well as share our own.
Let's begin then now that we have all of the introductory stuff out of the way.
What do you think is the team’s biggest need going into the draft?
Samantha: With all due respect to those clamoring for AJ Green or Julio Jones in the first round, I think the Browns top priority absolutely has to be improving the front seven. The team has holes at DE, DT, and LB. That can’t all be fixed through the draft, but a good portion of it certainly has to be.
This year’s draft is pretty deep at DE (which I consider to be the specific position at which the Browns have the greatest need), so they don’t necessarily have to go that way in the first round.
But if they don’t, they better do it in the second. That means in the later rounds, it’s definitely in the team’s best interest to pick up a linebacker and a defensive tackle if at all possible. The defense as it is now is going to have enough difficulty adjusting to a 4-3 scheme without having to do so with glaring holes in the front seven.
Jake: I agree, I think the defensive front seven is the biggest need, but I think one of the more glaring and evident holes is on the right side of the offensive line. I think it's important that the Browns find a guy that they can rely on to play the right tackle position going forward.
The lack of depth on both sides of the line is something that needs to be corrected literally as soon as we possibly can. Finding someone to give Joe Thomas or Eric Steinbach, even if not a starter, might be a good idea.
I agree that since DE is a position where there is a lot of depth we could afford to wait at least a couple rounds before snagging a solid prospect. I think there will be some offensive lineman that are available later on in the draft too that could be solid starters on the right side and it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to take a right tackle extremely early in the draft.
The only exception I see is if a guy like Gabe Carimi falls into the second round, if I'm Heckert, I'm hoping he's there.
Assuming the Browns keep the No. 6 overall pick, who is your “Fave Five” (top five players you’d like to see drafted) at that position?
Samantha: Patrick Peterson, Nick Fairley, Von Miller, Prince Amukamara, AJ Green and (if by some miracle, he’s still on the board) Marcell Dareus.
Jake: I largely agree, I have the same five players just a different order: Dareus, Peterson, Miller, Green, Fairley, Amukamara.
What NFL Draft “sleeper” player would you like to see in a Browns’ uniform next season?
Samantha: I like [Pitt] DE Greg Romeus as a sleeper pick. He tumbled in the rankings from the first round way down to the fourth or fifth because of back problems, but in terms of pure talent, he’s a first rounder all the way.
If the Browns could grab Romeus later in the draft, I’d be thrilled. I think his back will be fine, and thus he’ll play well above his draft slot.
Jake: I'm a big Romeus fan, but I'd really like to see his Pittsburgh teammate RB Dion Lewis in a Browns uniform, many of the people in the community have seen how much of a Lewis fanboy I am.
The guy is the perfect compliment to Hillis, he's quick, allusive, can catch the ball and would certainly be able to be the smoke to Hillis fire. He'd be a fifth-round pick and would 21 years old at the beginning of his rookie season.
While it is still extremely early, what is your initial impression of the Cleveland coaching unit?
Samantha: I like Jauron a lot as the defensive coordinator. If there’s anyone who can make the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 as seamless as possible, he’s the guy.
I’m not sold on Pat Shurmur as the head coach/OC at all, though I hope to be by the midway point of next season. While I respect Shurmur’s ability to run an offense tremendously, I’m not confident yet that he can handle all that comes with the job of head coach.
In addition to my concerns about what he’ll do with the defensive side of things, I have serious issues with the concept of the head coach and the OC being the same person. It’s tough for any coach to take on both roles, and it’s nearly impossible for a first-year head coach to do so successfully.
I fear Shurmur has bitten off more than he can chew. Certainly the dual role implies that Holmgren is the one who is really running the show and Shurmur is more of a glorified OC, but I still think it’s an overstep. Hopefully, I’ll wind up being wrong about this.
Jake: I mostly agree. Jauron and Rhodes have me very excited to see what the defense will be able to do in a couple of season once they have some quality pieces to build on. I think he's the guy that'll be able to make that change as well.
I think Shurmur fits the Holmgren "mold" (i.e. a former offensive coordinator that has had experience working with and developing young quarterbacks) and I think that's important. I'm far from a "fangini", but I think Mangini was a better head coaching option, however I don't feel that he's compatible with Holmgren's system and that's why he got the boot.
As for the concerns about him being the HC and OC, I think there are plenty of coaches that do both. Why hire a coordinator to do the job when we have a guy that's fresh off a redeeming offensive season in St. Louis, in which he was able to take a young quarterback in his first season and make him a stud in a largely incomplete offense?
He'll have to balance his priorities but I think he'll be able to handle it because he falls into that Holmgren "mold."
What pose would you like to see Peyton Hillis in, provided that he wins the Madden 12 Cover Contest?
Samantha: Given the supposed “Madden Cover Curse,” perhaps he should be shown making one of those hand gestures that’s supposed to ward off evil. I’m kidding. Kind of.
Jake: He's already beaten the "Cleveland Curse" so I think he can beat the "Madden Curse" with relative ease. Personally, I'd like to see him wrestling a wild boar, but I guess him leaping over a defender would do just as well.